Thursday, 14 May 2009

3D Printing from Holograms

A company is bringing full-color, glasses-free holograms to life, and R2D2’s got nothing to do with it. Instead, Zebra Imaging creates true 3D objects through software and a fast, powerful printing machine. [snip] ZI’s software places a virtual camera inside every point of a digital model’s holographic vertical plane, in order to record its surface volume. Zebra then prints the data (containing distinct POVs) to a plastic polymer, creating a sheet full of 1-mm holo tile encryptions. Each tile is basically an image data conductor sensitive to light. When light is shined, its energy scatters around and all image angles are revealed at once, popping up a free-standing 3D model. When you reach out to “touch” the 3D buildings in a demo, you feel nothing but air, revealing a true optical illusion. This tech is important for a few reasons. The wide angles and true depth volume of the renders help people collaborate easier in real space, as opposed to a 2D screen (and might help avoid visual fatigue). And the 3D slabs are cheaper and faster to make than models made of other materials, like clay. This is why the U.S. Army likes them — maps of constantly changing battlefields can be printed on the fly. From Three companies to watch in 3D

1 comment:

  1. I believe this company now offers solutions to commercial companies such as construction and architecture, since the original posting.

    They have also recently been Awarded a 3D Medical Simulation Contract (6-Dec-2011).